BC-MI–Michigan Weekend Advisory, MI

Here’s a look at AP’s news coverage plans for the weekend. If you have any questions about the plans, please call the Detroit AP bureau at (313) 259-0650 or email apmichigan@ap.org. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

FOR USE SUNDAY, DEC. 29, AND THEREAFTER:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-MICHIGAN-HFR

LANSING, Mich. — The four-year wait is nearly over for uninsured Michigan residents wanting medical insurance through the 2010 federal health care law. But when coverage kicks in starting Wednesday, it will be many more months or even years before a clear picture emerges of the law’s impact in the state. At most, just tens of thousands of residents will have picked a plan from the new federal health insurance marketplace in time for coverage in January. Many more will wait until getting closer to the end of open enrollment in three months. By David Eggert. SENT: 900 words, photos, moved HFR on Dec. 23 to be published Sunday, Dec. 29 or thereafter. AP is providing a database on the number and rate of uninsured in all Michigamn counties, based on U.S. Census data, for the purpose of localizing the story.

With:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-MICHIGAN-COUNTIES LIST-HFR — A county-by-county list from the U.S. Census that shows the number of uninsured Michigan residents. Moved HFR on Dec. 23 to be published Sunday, Dec. 29 or thereafter.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-MICHIGAN-GLANCE-HFR — Facts about the uninsured. Moved HFR on Dec. 23 to be published Sunday, Dec. 29 or thereafter.

EXCHANGE-GATHERING THE BUOYS

PORT HURON, Mich. — The Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock’s recent mission was filled with gingerbread cookies and giggles. Crew members took the 255-foot ship out into lower Lake Huron to retrieve the buoys that protect the ships traveling through the area. Crew members also retrieved time with their spouses and children. An AP Member Exchange by Nicole Hayden. Times Herald (Port Huron). SENT: 830 words on Thursday, Dec. 26, for release Sunday, Dec. 29, photos pursuing.

http://bwne.ws/Jnu3Ny

EXCHANGE-SNOW FORT FAMILY

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Rauwerda family is hoping for a cold and snowy winter. That’s not on everyone’s wish list, but when you’re in the business of crafting extravagant ice forts, those are prime conditions. Outside their Grand Rapids home stands a large fort — a winter playground where kids spend hours throwing snowballs and sliding around on a structure made completely from snow and ice. An AP Member Exchange by Angie Jackson. The Grand Rapids Press. SENT: 430 words on Thursday, Dec. 26, for release Sunday, Dec. 29, photos pursuing.

http://bit.ly/1ld1Qp2

FOR USE MONDAY, DEC. 30, AND THEREAFTER:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-RURAL MICHIGAN-HFR

DETROIT — The stories of Sanilac, Mackinac and other rural Michigan counties underscore broader challenges in rolling out President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, which aims to cut the number of uninsured by expanding low-income health coverage and the new insurance marketplaces where people can buy plans. Problems have plagued the website since its October launch, and enrollment still lags behind projections despite improvements. Americans had until last week to sign up for coverage that starts Jan. 1, and many are expected to wait until the last minute. They have until March 31 to find coverage and avoid a penalty for being uninsured next year. By Jeff Karoub. SENT: 870 words, photos, moved HFR on Dec. 23 to be published Monday, Dec. 30 or thereafter.

With:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-MICHIGAN-TIPS-HFR — Tips from experts on buying health insurance under President Barack Obama’s new health care law. Moved HFR on Dec. 23 to be published Monday, Dec. 30 or thereafter.

EXCHANGE-BIG HEADS

DETROIT — Ryan Patick Hooper describes the tour like a journey to the Island of Misfit Toys. He and his bosses, Pure Detroit co-owners Shawn Santo and her husband Kevin Borsay, were at the Parade Company recently to see if they could come up with an event the Detroit-centric retailer could co-sponsor with the non-profit producer of America’s Thanksgiving Parade. “We see this sort of dusty corner, a little unlit, blocked by a couple of floats, and we walk back there and there’s just these gorgeous, intricately painted, beautiful papier-mache Big Heads,” said Hooper, 24, who is Pure Detroit’s creative director. “We were blown away.” An AP Member Exchange by Donna Terek. The Detroit News. SENT: 845 words on Thursday, Dec. 26, for release Monday, Dec. 30, photos pursuing.

http://bit.ly/19e4rNl

EXCHANGE-DREAM HUNT

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — A hunter always dreams of “bagging” the big one. Lou Hank did earlier this month. “It was the hunt of a lifetime, really,” said Sault Ste. Marie resident, reflecting on the bull elk he took on Dec. 10 while hunting in the Lower Peninsula. “It was just the most fantastic hunt I have ever been on.” An AP Member Exchange by Scott Brand. The Evening News (Sault Ste. Marie). SENT: 625 words on Thursday, Dec. 26, for release Monday, Dec. 30.

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